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#204 IESE MBA Program & Admissions Interview with Paula Amorim

“We want our students to grow their self-awareness so they can know their strengths, know their weaknesses and know where they can improve… and transform and become better people by the end of the program. I think that by being a better person, by consequence, you’ll become a better professional. At IESE, we want people to become the best version of themselves… so they can go back to the real-world and drive the most impact that they can.

Paula Amorim, MBA Admissions Director at IESE Business School, discusses what makes the IESE MBA unique, the school’s admissions process, career opportunities and more.


  • Introduction (0:00)
  • Program Highlights – What Makes the IESE MBA Unique? (5:10)
  • IESE MBA Admissions & Scholarships – How to Improve Your Chances? (33:50)
  • Career Opportunities at IESE – What to Know & How to Prepare (59:55)

IESE Full-Time MBA Highlights (last updated March 2023)

  • Length, Intake, Size: 15 or 19-months, September intake, 350 students/year
  • Typical Class: 5.4 years average work experience / 85% international with 50 nationalities / GMAT: average 680 (580-750); GRE Verbal average 156 (143-170) and GRE Quantitative average 161 (143-170)
  • Curriculum:
    • 70 Full-time professors from 30 countries with 100% open door policy
    • Year 1
      • 24 core courses with professors, case-study method used 80% of the time
    • Summer: corporate internship, summer entrepreneurship experience, or social internship
    • Year 2
      • Global exchange programs for one trimester (around 90 students go each year)
      • International 1-2 week modules in New York, Brazil, Shanghai, Nairobi, Dubai, Mexico
      • Choose from 130 electives
      • Capstone project where students solve real world problems
    • Concentrations: International Business, Finance, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Tech, Data Analytics & Digital Business, and Sustainability & Responsible Business
    • Optional: students opting for 15-month length complete elective courses during summer term
  • Admissions: IESE is looking for academic ability, personal drive, confidence, leadership, work experience, international outlook, good communication skills, team player mentality and strong values
    • 3-10 years of professional experienced recommended
    • 5 application rounds between September and May
  • Careers:
    • Visas: MBA graduates can apply for a one-year residence permit to search for a job in Spain; this job search visa expires when they get a work permit
    • Placement, Class of 2021: 94% received offers w/in 3 months, €87,613 avg starting salary (€50,480 avg starting bonus), graduates experienced 144% increase in salary after 3 years
    • Top Destinations, Class of 2021: 20% Spain, 26% Rest of Europe (not Spain) / 22% Latin America / 20% Asia Pacific / 5% North America
    • Top Industries, Class of 2021: 34% consulting / 25% finance / 24% industry / 17% technology
    • Top Functions, Class of 2021: 38% consulting / 16% finance / 15% corporate & management / 13% marketing & sales / 8% information technology
    • 400+ recruiting companies
  • Scholarships: 15 types of scholarships available. About 40% of participants are awarded scholarships, generally ranging from 5-50% of tuition fee. €2 million in financial aid and scholarships are awarded each year with the average scholarship amount €23,000.
  • Rankings: Ranked #3 business school worldwide by Financial Times in 2023
  • Alumni: 55,000+ IESE alumni from 150+ countries with 40+ global chapters; over 230 continuous learning sessions annually
  • Tuition: €99,500; Estimated living costs €1,660-2,590/month
  • Accreditations: AACSB, EQUIS, ANECA

About Our Guest

Paula Amorim is the MBA Admissions Director at IESE Business School. Before joining IESE, Paula worked as a Project Manager for Grupo Marista, a non-profit in Brazil. Paula got her Bachelors in Industrial Engineering from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and MBA from IESE in 2016.

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